The base coat of render has been completed in the shower. We’re waiting for a small pot of natural earth pigment which LSS bought online – and we also need some more sand; the last trailer load we bought has now been used. Once we have those two items the shower will be completed.

As the aged FIL’s Citroën failed its road-worthiness test this week (one headlight not working, rear brakes non-functional, handbrake not working, windscreen washer pump non-operational) we decided to resurrect the Renault 5 from the barn where it had been stored. Ideally we need two roadworthy vehicles. Although the ST1100 is a roadworthy motorcycle, it is not the ideal vehicle to use if LSS is out and about with the Hyundai giving English lessons and I need to get a couple of lengths of timber, for example. And regarding the headlight, yes, I did check bulbs and fuses; it’s some sort of electrical wiring issue and I really don’t fancy taking the wiring loom apart. Regarding the rear brakes, I am unable to remove the hubs as I lack the appropriate tool, and this is also something on which I am reluctant to spend too much time. Having the appropriate remedial work carried out at a garage would cost as much as the vehicle is worth.

The Citroën is fine for running around on the farm as it uses less fuel than the Renault (LSS is unable to keep the engine going unless the choke is pulled out; and fiddling around with carburettors is not my strong point).

So, in order to have a vehicle which can legally be used on a public road, it appeared that it would be cheaper to put the Renault 5 through the “Contrôle technique”.

An initial examination revealed that the number plate lights were not working. Once again it was not a bulb or fuse issue, so I spliced a new piece of wire between the left rear light circuit and the number plate circuit. Having solved that problem, I then discovered that the windscreen wiper blades were perished, so LSS will need to buy new ones next week. Then last, but not least, the horn doesn’t work. It’s either the switch or the wiring; the horn itself is fine. We’re a bit reluctant to spend a lot of money on this vehicle as it’s probably only worth €200. I could simply install a push-button switch on the dashboard (I have all the necessary bits), but LSS wants to ask the testing centre whether that would be permissible.

What I’d like to do would be to get rid of both these vehicles (and possibly the motorcycle as well) and exchange them all for something like a second-hand 4×4 Isuzu pickup. I can but dream!

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